Very worried for my mom, 50F, who has been experiencing various symptoms the past 1-2 months

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Inferno716

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Just this past Jan 20th, my mom and I were trying to plan a vacation together, and she was totally fine health wise. She’s 50, moderately active, has asthma, but has a overall good family history health wise.

The vacation unfortunately didn’t happen, and then early February she took 1 pill of Viviscol for the first time which caused her to have gout due to the high purine content. After the gout was treated, she suddenly started complaining of muscle weakness in her legs. It slowly progressed over the month and she started experiencing muscle twitching while resting, stumbling (we even bought a ramp to avoid this step that goes into our kitchen which is easy to stumble on), and said recently she felt the weakness in her arms (although she can lift things fine). She says she is able to drive fine and doesn’t notice any symptoms bothering her while driving, but walking is difficult. She’s still doing groceries (in small amounts and I help out) and cooks, but she gets fatigued easily. 3 days ago, she noticed shortness of breath which got quite bad for 2 days, but now has greatly subsided. There is no slurred speech. She is pretty sure all of these symptoms are a result of the Viviscol somehow and that the shark cartilage in it did something to her (maybe mercury poisoning she says, she’s vegetarian and hasn’t had any seafood products before) but just 1 pill doing that doesn’t make sense to me (and the doctors we’ve been seeing). Her EMG came back “complex” and she’s had a few MRI’s done and is going for more tests this week. She changed her diet to gluten free, basically vegan and is drinking cellary juice etc. all that stuff you read online. She said the diet change is all actually helping and making a difference.

Any advice or guidance would greatly be appreciated from my entire family. My mom is my world and I just want to be able to help her as much as possible
 

Nikki J

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It sounds like the doctors are doing what is appropriate. I don’t know what complex means for the emg. If you wish, you can post a de identified copy of it and we could see if it looks like ALS is on the table

if ALS is likely she should plan a second opinion with a neuromuscular specialist at a university level ALS clinic.

I trust all her vitamin levels especially b have been checked? As a vegetarian she is prone to deficiencies and these can have neurologic side effects. If gluten free is really making a difference she should also be tested for celiac which is a known ALS mimic
 

KarenNWendyn

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The time course being so fast and so many things happening at once points away from ALS.
I second Nikki’s request to post the EMG here if you can.
 

Inferno716

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Thank you for your replies! I very much appreciate it,I’m going to see if I can post the EMG.. she did have her blood tests just come back normal except with a higher “M Spike” and she’s getting IVIG treatment currently
 

Nikki J

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M spike? Meaning elevated IGM on ganglioside antibodies? That resulted in IvIG being prescribed? So they are thinking MMN presumably. How high? How many values were elevated in the panel
how long has she been getting ivig? If she is feelingbetter as you said above I would attribute it to the ivig which would be great. Ivig doesn’t help ALS
 
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